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5 PR Hacks for Small Businesses



Person flicking pages of a newspaper
Focus: trending content and good storytelling are key to a good press release

No week goes by without a couple of very odd press releases landing in my inbox. And when I say odd, I really mean it: from PR agencies promoting the launch of the latest car models (I have never written about cars) or the classic release featuring a non-story – sometimes even price lists or other marketing pieces far, far away from journalism – I get sent it all. As you might expect … yes, they get deleted at the speed of light.

But how, actually, can small businesses and freelancers try to get featured in the media in 2022?

For a start, what PR teams or anyone working behind communications must keep in mind is: journalists don’t publish information about companies; what the media is looking for are engaging stories that can appeal to their many readers. It is as simple as that. It is storytelling, and not how much a product or service costs, that will catch the attention of professional journalists.

With that in mind – and to spare the poor inboxes of journalists working in a variety of newsrooms across the country, here are five PR hacks that might help your business land a feature or an interview in your local papers, or even national press.

Tailored media list is the key

It is not about quantity but quality when it comes to creating a good list of contacts you should be sending your well-crafted press release to. A small pool of, let’s say, 30 journalists within your niche is more valuable than sending it to 500 professionals that don’t even sporadically write on topics common between their target audiences and your target clients.

Start by cultivating good relationships with the media and create your own media list of bloggers and journalists writing about your industry. Although it is a painstaking process that you can’t cheat on, if you want to get results it is also a rewarding one. And no, never buy mailing lists off the internet. They are often loaded with contacts that are neither updated nor useful to your business.

Leverage trending content

Thanks to hashtags and social media, it is easier than ever for businesses, big or small, to spot trending topics and take advantage of them. So, if something related to your industry is trending on Twitter or being exhaustively shared on Instagram or Facebook, carefully jump on the bandwagon by sharing insights or knowledge about your business to position yourself as a market leader in your field. Every day, the news cycle brings dozens of opportunities for businesses to get great PR by relating their story to an existing news story.

Be aware of deadlines

There is no point in spending time and resources writing the perfect press release and then sending it to your news outlet of choice on a Friday afternoon. When planning press releases, make sure you are aware of their deadlines, and you will already be a big step ahead. Different organisations have different deadlines, with magazines often going to print weeks in advance. Even daily publications tend to have a schedule for special supplements featuring anything from economy to gadgets and fashion. The same applies for radio and TV.

Storytelling is your friend

When sending out a press release, detach yourself from your business and ask the following question: is there a story here? And would I publish that story? It goes without saying that, before sending a press release to bloggers and journalists, you must double-check to see if the story is clear and if all contact points are included at the end of the press release, as some journalists may want to get in touch to ask questions or even expand your material into a longer feature.

The bottom line here is that a press release is a story that the media can share with their readers and viewers. It is less about your business and more about a wider appeal.

Learn to follow up properly

First things first: following up on a press release isn’t simply forwarding it again. As a journalist I can tell you this right now: nothing is more infuriating that that junior PR employee resending the same material every other day, hoping that, one day, you will open your inbox and magically fall in love with the old content they are trying so hard to plug in the media. If re-sending something, offer a new piece of insight or reassure the journalist you are contacting that you are available to talk over the phone or to organise for he or she to talk to a representative of your company to get some valuable quotes than can positively add to a possible feature.

Keep in mind that, at the end of the day, there are over 5.6 million small businesses in the UK, but not all of them will spend time trying to figure out how to work with journalists. If something newsworthy is happening within your business and you can write a press release that is both informative and features a relatable story, you are already well ahead in the PR game.

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.


The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project announces 50 nominees



Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project
Kim Rihal, founder of social enterprise Equal Education, is one of the 50 women shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project

Earlier this year, on International Women’s Day 2023, Häagen-Dazs launched ‘The Rose Project’, a global initiative with a $100,000 (USD) bursary grant inviting nominations to recognise unsung trailblazing women in honour of the brand’s female co-founder Rose Mattus. Yesterday, 23 November, on what would have been Rose Mattus’ birthday, Häagen-Dazs announced the top 50 #WomenWhoDontHoldBack nominees being shortlisted for their achievements and its five globally accomplished Häagen-Dazs Rose Project judges.

Over 2,500 applications were received for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project putting forward pioneering efforts and societal contributions made by women across the globe. From these, 50 talented and inspirational women have been shortlisted and will be put forward to win one of five monetary grants of $20,000 (USD), which will be announced on International Women’s Day 2024, to continue their exceptional work, unleash their potential or give to a cause they are passionate about. The top 50 shortlist includes women from 17 countries hailing from across Europe, Asia, Africa & Middle East, Australia and the Americas.

The all-female judging panel from across the world has been handpicked for the final selection stage of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project includes. UK-based author, broadcaster and philanthropist Katie Piper, fashion entrepreneur and advocate for women’s fertility issues, Velda Tan from Singapore and Spanish entrepreneur and creative director Inés Arroyo, are amongst the judges.

“International Women’s Day 2023 marked the launch of The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project to honour the legacy of our co-founder, Rose Mattus, and create a fund platform to provide opportunities to women across all fields around the world who are truly deserving of support and recognition. We were thrilled to receive thousands of nominations across countries and our #WomenWhoDontHoldBack Top 50 shortlist is a compelling and diverse mosaic of trailblazing female narratives that moved us and serve as an inspiration to women everywhere”, says Aurélie Lory, Häagen-Dazs spokesperson.

To find out more about the story of each entrepreneur shortlisted for The Häagen-Dazs Rose Project, visit:

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47% of women feel their workplace is not combatting inequality



Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal
Katherine Maher, CEO, Web Summit, on Centre Stage during day one of Web Summit 2023 | Photo: Eóin Noonan/Web Summit

The proportion of women who feel that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality has nearly doubled in a year, a new survey has revealed.

Web Summit, the world’s largest technology event taking place in Lisbon this week, has released its third annual State of Gender Equity in Tech report, which is based on a survey distributed among its women in tech community.

76.1 percent of respondents feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position; fewer respondents (41.8 %) feel the need to choose between family and career when compared to 2022 (50.4 %); and there is at least one woman in a senior management position in 80.4 percent of respondents’ companies, a similar proportion to last year (81.3%).

The survey found that 70.5 percent of respondents feel pressure to prove their worth compared to male counterparts, while 77.2 percent feel they need to work harder to prove themselves because of their gender.

Over three quarters of respondents (76.1 %) feel empowered to pursue and/or hold a leadership position. And almost half of respondents think that their workplace is not taking appropriate measures to combat gender inequality, increasing from 26 percent in 2022 to 47
percent in 2023.

“While it is encouraging to see progress in some areas, such as those feeling the need to choose between their family and career, there are also some deeply concerning trends within this report. Seeing an increase in those who report having experienced sexism in the workplace in the last year is disheartening in 2023. We hope that this kind of research can breed some positives, and that it will push workplaces – and women within these workplaces – to broach these topics and make progress in these areas,” said Carolyn Quinlan, VP of community at Web Summit.

Last year, 42 percent of attendees at Web Summit were women and 33 percent of speakers were women. In 2023 these numbers have slightly improved with 43 percent of attendees and 38 percent of speakers on stage being women this year.

The women in tech programme at this year’s Web Summit is at capacity, and the women in tech programme at Web Summit Rio 2023 reached capacity in record time.

The WebSummit 2023 is running from November 13th to 16th in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Krispy Kreme to give away free donuts on World Kindness Day



A box of Krispy Kreme donuts opened and with donuts inside
The company, founded in 1937, is giving away 60,000 free doughnuts around the world today | Photo: Clément Proust

American multinational doughnut company and coffeehouse chain, Krispy Kreme, is celebrating “World Kindness Day” today by distributing free donuts in the US and the UK.

The chain is giving away a box of a dozen glazed donuts for free with no purchase necessary. But only the first 500 guests that visit each participating Krispy Kreme US stores on “World Kindness Day”, Monday November 13th, will be able to get a free box of donuts.

Krispy Kreme often gives away free or discounted donuts to generate buzz on special occasions. The company, founded in 1937, traditionally gives out free donuts to customers on National Donut Day, celebrated on the first Friday of June of each year. And in July, a dozen of glazed donuts were sold for 86 cents to celebrate its 86th birthday.

Thousands of free donuts are also expected to be given away today across Krispy Kreme stores in the United Kingdom, with customers being encouraged to ask for the World Kindness Day offer. No purchase necessary.

The company, which operates in over 30 countries around the world, said it wants the brand associated with World Kindness Day to make “meaningful connections” with customers.

“World Kindness Day is an opportunity to make a positive difference by being generous,” Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme’s global chief brand officer, said in a release. “Simple gestures of caring and thanks, including sharing a sweet treat, is a great way to do that.”

Krispy Kreme said that it’s considering expanding a limited partnership it has with McDonald’s to sell more of its donuts at the latter’s location.

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